A Guide to This Year's CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalists

This year's CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalists are a mixed bag of prior nominees and newbies, clothing designers and jewelry makers, names that are on the tips of everyone's tongues and names we'd never heard until last Thursday when the CFDA and Vogue announced them. Here's a few details on each finalist, plus our thoughts on why each one could win, to help you decide who to root for.
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Who: Antonio Azzuolo What: Menswear, launched in 2008 Previous CFDA Nominations: 0 Why He Could Win: He has a fresh eye for menswear--expertly tailored pieces with a twist and the occasional flamboyant detail.

Who: Joseph Altuzarra What: Womenswear, launched in 2009 Previous CFDA Nominations: Swarovski Award for Womenswear in '10 and '11, CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award in '10 Why He Could Win: He's talented and well-liked,

Who: Carlos Campos What: Menswear and Womenswear, Launched in 2006 Previous CFDA Nominations: 0 Why He Could Win: Makes consistently strong, wearable menswear, not unlike last year's winner Billy Reid. In 2009, he was awarded with Fashion Group International’s Rising Star Award for Best Menswear Design.

Creatures of the Wind

Who: Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters What: Womenswear, launched in 2010 Previous CFDA Nominations: 0 Why They Could Win: Very unique and promising--almost like a more casual Rodarte. And they are less established than some other nominees and could actually use the money.

Who: Michelle Ochs and Carly Cushnie What: Womenswear, launched in 2008 Previous CFDA Nominations: 0 Why They Could Win: They won the CFDA scholarship at Parsons, received the 2009 Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Award and were finalists for the 2010 Fashion Group International Rising Star Award.

Finn Jewelry

Who: Soraya Silchenstedt What: Women's Jewelry, launched in 2005 Previous CFDA Nominations: 0 Why She Could Win: Her jewelry has caught the eye of editors and Sophie Theallet, with whom she did a collaboration. The high-end pieces are simple and appealing.

Who: Dana Lorenz What: Women's Jewelry, launched in 2006 Previous CFDA Nominations: Swarovski Award for Accessory Design '10 Why She Could Win:

Who: Alexa Adams and Flora Gill What: Womenswear, launched in 2006 Previous CFDA Nominations: CFDA/ Vogue Fashion Fund Award in '09 Why they could win: The young, hip brand recently launched a

Who: Pamela Love What: Women's Jewelry, launched in 2006 Previous CFDA Nominations: Swarovski Award for Accessory Design '11, Fashion Fund '10 Why she could win: Her jewelry is always boundary-pushing and truly original and she's gotten a lot of respect from the industry. Anna Wintour attended her Fall '11 presentation.

Who: Max Osterweis and Erin Beatty What: Womenswear, launched in 2008 Previous CFDA Nominations: 0 Why they could win: With such consistently well-received collections, it was only a matter of time before these risk-taking designers got this kind of recognition. They're the next big thing.